Endurance training takes a lot of time, especially if you are not one of the Speedy McSpeedersons. Half marathons, marathons, any of the longer triathlons… They all take a lot of time and energy. That’s why today’s Tuesdays on the Run topic is “time management while race training.” Share your tips and experiences with Patty, April, and me. And if you have nothing to say no this topic, feel free to link up any running related topic. Also, please welcome Janell from Run With No Regrets, our guest host this week!
We all know I’m kind of crazy. I have this thing for not just one endurance event, but multiple in a row. Some of that is because I’ve found that my superpower is recovery, some of it is because I like challenges. Just for the record, choosing to do two FULL marathons in two days after not having run a marathon in 5 years? Yeah, that pretty much takes the cake for crazy. Also? It takes a heck of a lot of time! So, here’s how I manage to get through marathon training and stay sane. Ok, stay the same level of crazy I was before I started.
- Your calendar is your friend. Plot your training plan and find the landmines. I can guarantee you that you’ll find weeks where your training and life are just not compatible. Figure out which weeks you can move around without compromising your plan. I like to plan an 18 week training plan over a 20 week period. This allows me a little flex when life explodes.
- Plan each week only a week or two in advance. With one kid playing in two soccer leagues, the other playing in a school orchestra and a youth orchestra, a husband who is training for a multi-day bike ride, and oh, that job thing, life around here is pretty crazy. Each week, I check my non-negotiable work meetings and client meetings and then work with Beer Geek to figure out who is chauffeuring kids to what and when are workouts happening. I do have the bonus of not working full time plus having a super flexible boss. (Seriously, I told him not to expect much of me this Friday as I’ll be running 20 miles and then I’m stupid afterwards. Can you say that to your boss? LOL)
- Use shorter run and cross training days to your advantage. Cook, clean, file your taxes, whatever. Just do what you need to do to make the long run days easier.
- Run “what you can when you can”. (Hat tip to Carla Birnberg) Run during lunch hours, run during your kid’s sports practice, get up early, stay up late, etc. Split up a long run if there is no other way to get it in.
- It takes a village. Take any offers for help that you get. Enlist the aid of your children/spouse/a maid service/whatever to get things done. Learn to use that crockpot at the back of the cupboard.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Maybe your house won’t be as clean as you’d like. Maybe you’ll eat simpler meals for a few months. Maybe your social life will suffer for a while (if you run with friends it might actually be better…)
- Accept that your training won’t go perfectly and some weeks you might come up short. Don’t beat yourself up. A few missed runs over the course of a multi-month training plan are not going to kill your training. Just don’t miss too many or you’ll be undertrained. (Been there, done that.) Or try to cram a missed run into an already packed schedule or your might end up injured. (Been there, done that too.)
- Remember that this is supposed to be fun and you chose to do it. Enjoy the training process. You’ll spend a lot more time in training than you will racing, so you’ll want to find the joy in the day to day runs.
What tips do you have that I haven’t covered? I’m always looking at ways to help keep all the balls in the air!
[A version of this post first appeared as a guest post at You Signed Up For What??]
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35 thoughts on “TOTR: Time management while marathon training”
I couldn’t have said it better myself! Great advice.
#8 is so important! I laugh because my tip just wouldn’t work well for you!
Ha, yeah, I’m so not a morning person. I don’t know what I’ll do if I ever end up in a traditional 9-5 job again…
I am not currently training for any marathons, I mostly do halfs. I do my long runs during the week when the kids are in school. I only work three days a week. I find this helps so much! Lots of great tips!
All good points. I don’t recover as quickly, but I also need a mental break. I get my long runs done early on Saturdays, so once the race is done, I like to sleep in and be a slug.
Great tips! #7 is something i’ve always had a hard time with in the past- if I missed a workout or two I would freak out and think my whole plan was a waste. Now I try to chill a bit and don’t worry quite as much. I loved this topic 🙂
My saving grace for marathon training has always been having my workouts out of the way by 7am. That doesn’t work for really long runs but for me earlier means less chance of life getting in the way.
Maintaining flexibility with a training plan is so important. You never know when life will get in the way of training, or if you’ll get sick or if your body will need an extra rest day.
All I can say is wow! I give you major kudos for not only running one marathon but two in such a short amount of time.
#7 is spot on! Overall great advice!
Thanks for hosting 🙂
These are great tips! Love the idea of using your shorter days to catch up on life things 🙂
I really like your tip about not sweating the small stuff. I have just come to accept that my house is not going to be as clean as I would like and that’s okay.
I admire anyone who can run a marathon let alone train for one. It is serious business and takes discipline and tenacity. I salute all of you. Thanks for the tips – even though I do not see a marathon in my near future, one day perhaps and now I know what to do to make that happen when it comes to training.
I’m still dreaming of that “Marathon at 60,” so I’ve pinned this!!! I especially like the idea of breaking up the long runs if needed; sounds like it would remove some of the guilt factor that so often leads to (my) failure. Thanks!
Great tips! I will refer to these on my next go round to make sure I’m staying on track! I love #8…that’s the only reason I do it (or at least that’s what I convince myself). 🙂
LOL, yeah, it doesn’t always feel fun, but the accomplishment feels awesome.
I was so much more “organized” when I was marathon training. Now, not so much!
All great tips! Marathon training really can take over your life if you let it. I’ve only trained for one, but all my weekend plans revolved around my long run. It can definitely get crazy town!
Great tips! I especially like the comment about learning to use that crockpot. Man does that help to have dinner prepared when you get home. 🙂
hehehe, Speedy McSpeederson…that sounds like the type of nickname I’d come up with for different people! 😛
Not sweating the small stuff is definitely an important one, and I like the “what you can when you can” philosophy!
I’ve been trying so hard to turn myself into a morning person. ;_; So far, I’m having no luck, but…will keep on working at it!
Time management is definitely a great skill to have/work on–it makes such a huge difference!
Great tips! I love the It Takes A Village tip! And relaxing a little and remembering it needs to be fun!
I usually try to add myself an extra week or two as well because it gives you a buffer for those really bad weeks. I misjudged for this half marathon training cycle and will have my last long run during a week on call. Oops! Ah well – we’re women. We’re good at making it work, right? 🙂
You’ve hit the nail on the head with this post. I especially like The tip about coming up short. No plan ever goes to plan precisely. You just have to accept that and move on.
Love this advice! Planning is key.
Awesome tips! A few took me way too long to learn 🙂 What you can when you can was life changing!
These are great tips for any type of training. I don’t foresee myself running 26.2 miles anytime soon but I can appreciate all the hard work that goes into training to do so. I really admire those who face the challenge!
So not training for a marathon but I do find it essential to map out my workouts for the week to make sure I get everything in.
Great tips and advice!! Between work, being a mom and training, I’m constantly juggling things around, sneaking runs in when I can and trying not to disrupt everyone else’s schedule too. I do the best I can! Thankfully, I have a awesome hubby and daughter who get it. That helps a lot!
Such a great topic! It is always so hard to juggle it all especially with kids in the picture but somehow having a super packed schedule also helps me to stay on track even if it means squeezing in some late night workouts. Love your tips!
Yes!! Yes!! Yes! I love the marathon mantra… you paid for this pain! 😉 LOL
I like Run When You Can. I used to just wait around for my BF to get off work now I use that time to run loops around the place.
I’m not training for anything but I need these tips just to manage my life haha
I love this post sooooo much! I wish I read it before training for NYC. Marathon training is a constant sturggle at times but breaking it down the way you have makes it much less stressful!
Thanks for the great tips, I am in need of some better time management strategies! I’m not training for a marathon but I want to train for a half later this year and I teach several group fitness classes so I have to schedule some time to practice routines and workout on my own too. It get’s busy! #wowlinkup
Great tips and I think you covered them all. I don’t train for events so I can’t offer anymore information but I do like “it takes a village” concept. #wowlinkup